Men's Team

Pep Guardiola: De Bruyne in top condition for season finale

Pep Guardiola: De Bruyne in top condition for season finale
Pep Guardiola says Kevin De Bruyne is arriving at the business end of the season in top condition.

The Manchester City midfielder has enjoyed another fine campaign and delivered an inspired, all-action performance in the midweek Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund.


It was a timely reminder of the Belgian’s brilliance ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea, when City will be aiming to stay on course to lift all four trophies this season.

With the big games coming thick and fast, Guardiola admitted he has been particularly impressed with De Bruyne’s form since the international break and feels he is at the top of his game.

“He's arriving in a good feeling,” said the manager at his pre-match press conference.

“He was outstanding against Leicester after the international break.  He didn't play against Leeds to involve everyone but in Dortmund he played well.

“He is arriving for the next six weeks in the best condition physically and mentally. Signing a contract with the club is not just good for him but for the club and everyone.

“Hopefully he can continue at this level.”

WATCH: Guardiola: Foden can play in five positions

The Chelsea clash comes hot on the heels of a physically and mentally demanding victory over Dortmund and Guardiola acknowledged the midweek win has buoyed his team ahead of another big game.

It means only Thomas Tuchel’s men and Paris Saint-Germain stand between City reaching the final of all three cup competitions and the Catalan feels his side deserve respect for their efforts this season.

The Dortmund win saw the Club qualify for the last four of the Champions League for only the second time and whilst he rejects the idea that’s a sign the squad is stronger then previous years, he admits previous defeats in the competition made this season’s all the sweeter.

“We were always strong as a team but the margin in a Champions League knockout game is so minor,” he added.

“Everything can change but the team is the same and the mentality is the same. I don't want to judge the whole season on one or two games.

“When one team arrives in the final stages fighting for all competitions the players get my respect and congratulations. We didn't have a break from last season and look what we have done.

WATCH: De Bruyne named Etihad Player of the Month

“Of course, the results help a lot and we cannot deny how the backroom staff are all delighted to be in the semi-finals of the Champions League but sometimes when it is tough and you need time and you spend a lot to get something that's why it is so nice.

“It is like life. Everything you get immediately or without effort is not nice. We know how difficult it was to reach the semi-final and that is why the happiness is even higher.

“We would have loved to have reached the semi-finals before, but we were there every season and next season we will be there in the Champions League trying again.

“We know we can reach the semi-finals now and that will be the target next season.

“Sometimes it is important to take the step, but it is important to be stable as a club and fight again.”

View all club partners